When Flying, Is Mascara Considered a Liquid By The TSA?

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

Yes. The TSA counts mascara as a liquid. Here is a screengrab from the TSA website.

Is mascara considered a liquid? The TSA certainly thinks so

This means that it’s subject to “the 3-1-1 rule”.

The 3 in the name means that you can only have mascara in 3.4 oz bottles. That’s 100 ml. Under 3.4 oz or 100 ml is fine.

The second 1 means that you must put all your 3.4 oz containers in 1 clear quart-sized bag.

And the last 1 means that you are only allowed 1 quart-sized bag in your carry-on. Each traveler is only permitted one bag.

You can put as much mascara as you want in your checked luggage. But there are restrictions when you pack it in your carry on luggage.

You can put more than 1 mascara in your quart bag, so long as it’s under 3.4 ounces. The only problem will be that along with your nail polish, your lip gloss, your foundation, your sun cream and your vodka miniatures you might not have space for too many mascaras.

Another alternative is to buy makeup after the security gate. Or to ship a package containing your make up to your destination.

Why is Mascara Counted as a Liquid for Flying?

All mascaras contain a mixture of pigment, waxes, oils and liquid gel.

Once mixed together these ingredients form a paste.

And it’s not only liquids that are restricted it’s pastes and gels too.

All pastes are subject to security regulations by the TSA and in fact, international airport security screening around the world has similar regulations too.

So that’s it. You can carry small amounts of mascara in your hand luggage but if you want to take lots of mascara on a flight you’ll need to put it in a checked bag.

Do you have any tips about traveling with makeup? Or any questions? Let us know in the comments below.